5 Common BA Questions Answered: How do I show my value when no one knows what I do?

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Mar 10, 2024
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As I coach business analysts around the globe, there are 5 common Business Analysis questions I receive consistently from aspiring and existing Business Analysts (BAs);

  1. How do I move into a BA Role with no BA Experience?
  2. What technologies should I know as a BA?
  3. What certifications should I pursue as a BA?
  4. What is the next logical role after becoming a BA role?
  5. How do I show my value when no one knows what I do?

My name is Paula Bell, also known as, The BA Martial Artist, I leverage martial arts concepts to bring forth personal and professional results, and I am here to answer and discuss some strategies, and tips for 5 Common questions I receive from aspiring and existing Business Analysts. But before I get started, if you want more tips and strategies on business analysis and advancing your career make sure to click the subscribe button on my YouTube channel, as well as, click on the bell to turn on notifications. In addition, I would love for you to engage with me leveraging the "Community Link" on YouTube.

Okay, now let's jump into Part 5, the final part, of this 5-Part series of the "5 Common BA Career Questions Answered", where I will focus on the question

"How do I show my value when no one knows what I do?"

>> Time to Enter the Dojo <<

Now I will agree that there is still a lot of confusion on what a Business Analyst does, but it is imperative you define what a business analyst does every chance you get. There are many different definitions out there on what business analysis is. According to the IIBA®, the definition of a Business Analyst is an agent of change and business analysis is a disciplined approach for introducing and managing change to organizations, whether they are for-profit businesses, governments, or non-profits.

I like to say a Business Analyst solves problems to transform organizations.

  • We are change agents.
  • We are facilitators.
  • We are elicitors.
  • We are gatherers and organizers of data and information.
  • We are validators.
  • We are influencers.
  • We are negotiators.
  • We are strong communicators
  • We are relationship builders
  • We are analytical thinkers
  • We are critical thinkers

WE ARE PROBLEM SOLVERS!!!

This is what we do as business analysts and this is just some of the value we bring to the table.

Now terminology, knowledge, and education are key. You already know I am going to have to make a martial arts reference here. When I started my martial arts journey, I didn't know what a Dojo was, what to say to start class, what to do during class, the belt acceptance protocol, and more. I was initially lost. After the master and black belts explained what terms meant, the correct protocol, and the WHY behind it all I was able to appreciate the VALUE being imparted to me. The value the black belts and master imparted to me is invaluable because it allows me to effectively protect myself through discipline and commitment to learning the art.

The value you bring as a Business Analyst is invaluable to organizations. You are transforming organizations internally and externally to the customers they serve. But before I go any further, let me take a moment to define the word "value".

  • Value as a verb is considered (someone or something) to be important or beneficial.
  • Value as a noun is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

So as a BA, you are important and beneficial to an organization. You are extremely critical to an organization. Now all you have to do is demonstrate how and here are some tips on how to demonstrate value.

Business Analysts elicit and document requirements in some way, shape, or form. By thoroughly understanding the needs and objectives of stakeholders, YOU ensure that projects and initiatives are aligned with the organization's strategic goals and objectives. Therefore, you are helping the organization to live up to the clear direction and purpose that was set, minimize conflict, promote teamwork, and ensure resources are utilized efficiently

Identify key performance indicators and other metrics to measure success to ensure the organization is moving in the right direction. Ensure they are focused on the right projects and initiatives that are most likely to drive success. You are helping the organization effectively execute their strategies will can help them to outperform competitors, capture market share, and adapt to changing market conditions more effectively. You are also helping the organization stay competitive through innovation. Believe it or not, you are also helping with employee engagement because you are helping the stakeholders understand how their work contributes to the organization's broader goals, they are more engaged, motivated, and committed to their roles.

  • You are helping to mitigate risks
  • You are helping the organization think long-term and not short-term
  • You are building stakeholder confidence as you continue to deliver projects that meet the company's strategic goals and objectives
  • You are facilitating change as the strategic goals serve as a roadmap for navigating these changes and staying resilient.

Meeting strategic goals often leads to improved financial performance. Whether the objectives are related to revenue growth, cost reduction, or profitability, achieving them can have a positive impact on the organization's financial health.

So, look at the enormous amount of value you provide just by aligning the organization's strategic goals and objectives.

So, let's keep this BA Ninja goodness going.

One area I love to work in is process improvement. Business analysts have an uncanny way of identifying inefficiencies in existing processes and recommending improvements. By analyzing workflows, identifying bottlenecks, and suggesting streamlined processes helps increase productivity and reduce costs. Not everyone can create and analyze processes. It is definitely a skill that BAs possess and one when demonstrating shows an enormous amount of value.

Business analysts often work with data to uncover trends, patterns, and insights. They use tools and techniques to turn raw data into actionable information, which can guide decision-making and drive business growth. I want to emphasize the importance of decision-making. When leaders and stakeholders have the correct data, they will make informed decisions that can drive the business forward. When the business is driven forward that could mean extra perks and opportunities for employees. So, when you think about doing business analysis work it doesn't just impact you, but your work can impact MANY. The data analysis you conduct is an ENORMOUS value.

Now another core skill that BAs have is strong communication. Effective communication is a core and critical skill for business analysts. You bridge the gap between technical teams and non-technical stakeholders, ensuring that everyone understands project goals, progress, and impacts. Communication is not just talking, but also actively listening. There is a lot of value in just listening to your stakeholders.

Business analysts assess proposed solutions to ensure they meet business needs. This includes evaluating vendor products, software applications, or process changes to determine their feasibility and alignment with organizational objectives.

In addition, business analysts can also showcase their value through:

  • the successful completion of projects
  • the achievement of key performance indicators, and by consistently providing actionable insights that drive strategic decisions

Ultimately, a skilled business analyst can make a significant impact on an organization by facilitating better decision-making, optimizing processes, and ensuring that projects and initiatives are aligned with the organization's goals and objectives.

Well, there you have it!!!

So, when someone asks you what you do and what value you add you now have a way to answer them to demonstrate how critical you are to any organization.

I hope you found this article helpful and a nice roadmap to explain what you do, and the value you add as a business analyst.

This is the final article in this series. If you have not had a chance to listen to Part 1 – 4, I highly recommend you take a listen or read.

It has been a pleasure doing this 5-part series with you and I hope you have found golden nuggets and have pulled information that will serve you for years to come.

Until next time,
The BA Martial Artist is signing off!


P.S. If you are looking to determine how you should gain clarity and focus on where you want to go in your Business Analysis career, my “Career Ninja Mastery Kit™” is the tool for you.

P.P.S. If you are working to advance your career and and you need additional assistance on updating your resume I offer an online self-paced resume course and resume review services working with me directly. If you need additional help with interview preparation I offer an online self-paced interview preparation and execution course and interview preparation services working with me directly.


Author: Paula Bell

Paula Bell is a Certified Business Analyst, Master Life Coach, Certified Diversity & Inclusion Manager Coach, and Career Development Coach, with over 20 years of experience working in corporate America in varied project roles and industries. In addition, for the last 20+ years, Paula has been successful in running a consulting business that focuses on mind, body, and soul for over the last 20 years. She is passionate about inspiring, motivating, and encouraging others holistically, leveraging martial arts concepts, hence the alias “The BA Martial Artist”. To find out more about Paula you can visit her website at www.paulaabell.com.

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